Saturday, December 8, 2012

Build-A-Bear Theology

I have to admit I find this phrase very entertaining. I agree with a few of Schmidt's minor points in his Patheos piece, "The Dangers of a 'Build-A-Bear' Theology", but his overall message falls flat. He is willing to concede that Americans catering ideas or behaviors to our own specific interests is not that new but can't seem to admit that Religion as an institution has also always done so. No religion is completely unique since each builds on what came before it. They also tend to adopt bits and pieces from contemporary faiths they come in contact with.

I also don't quite see why he is so disturbed by this common approach since no religion has ever been unified. There are always factions. Even at the individual level it is rare to find any believer that agrees 100% with their chosen faith. At one point he seems to think being an individual is itself somehow wrong, "We create something that is deeply meaningful to the one who crafts it, but predictably it lacks any deep relevance to others." So? I will never understand the one-size-fits-all mentality that seems to be so pervasive among theists, or rather among theologians and religious leaders.

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